Posner is unique in the world of American jurisprudence, a highly regarded U.S. appellate judge and a prolific and controversial writer on legal philosophy (The Little Book of Plagiarism). Opinionated, sarcastic and argumentative as ever, Posner is happy to weigh in not only on how judges think, but how he thinks they should think. When sticking to explaining the nine intellectual approaches to judging that he identifies, and to the gap between legal academics and judges, and his well-formulated pragmatic approach to judging, Posner is insightful, accessible, often funny and a model of clarity. When he charges off into longstanding arguments with fellow legal theorists (liberal commentator Ronald Dworkin, for one) or examines doctrinal discrepancies in the opinions of Supreme Court justices, he writes for a far more limited audience. For the record, although Justice Scalia is a favorite target, none of the Supreme Court nine escapes Posner's lethally sharp pen. Posner's two major points-that to a great extent judges make decisions based not on theory but on who they are, their gender, education, class and experiences, and that "the Supreme Court is a political court" regardless of what theory of constitutional interpretation justices claim-are well worthwhile and deeply rooted in common sense and experience. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Challenging the Boundaries of Slaveryby David Brion Davis, Davis
In this engaging book, David Brion Davis offers an illuminating perspective on American slavery. Starting with a long view across the temporal and spatial boundaries of world slavery, he traces continuities from the ancient world to the era of exploration, with its expanding markets and rise in consumption of such products as sugar, tobacco, spices, and chocolate,
In this engaging book, David Brion Davis offers an illuminating perspective on American slavery. Starting with a long view across the temporal and spatial boundaries of world slavery, he traces continuities from the ancient world to the era of exploration, with its expanding markets and rise in consumption of such products as sugar, tobacco, spices, and chocolate, to the conditions of the New World settlement that gave rise to a dependence on the forced labor of millions of African slaves. With the American Revolution, slavery crossed another kind of boundary, in a psychological inversion that placed black slaves outside the dream of liberty and equalityand turned them into the Great American Problem.
Davis then delves into a single year, 1819, to explain how an explosive conflict over the expansion and legitimacy of slavery, together with reinterpretations of the Bible and the Constitution, pointed toward revolutionary changes in American culture. Finally, he widens the angle again, in a regional perspective, to discuss the movement to colonize blacks outside the United States, the African-American impact on abolitionism, and the South's response to slave emancipation in the British Caribbean, which led to attempts to morally vindicate slavery and export it into future American states. Challenging the boundaries of slavery ultimately brought on the Civil War and the unexpected, immediate emancipation of slaves long before it could have been achieved in any other way.
This imaginative and fascinating book puts slavery into a brilliant new light and underscores anew the desperate human tragedy lying at the very heart of the American story.
George M. Fredrickson
Rebecca J. Griffin
Philip D. Morgan
Michael J. Guasco
Carl J. Richard
What People are saying about this
Ira Berlin, author of Generations of Captivity
John Stauffer, author of The Black Hearts of Men
Orlando Patterson, Harvard University
Meet the Author
David Brion Davis is Sterling Professor of History Emeritus and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University.
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